Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June Butterfly of the Month

Prepona omphale

Range: Mexico to Amazon Basin
  • In the wild, Prepona omphale rarely go to the forest floor, even feeding on fruits in the canopy section of the rain forest. However, in our Tropical Butterfly House they are happy to eat at the fruit dishes near the floor.

  • With a unique flight pattern, Prepona omphale's wing muscles are powerful allowing it to make very fast, aggressive swoops when chasing rivals (the male considers nearly anything except female P. omphale to be a "rival") or fleeing danger, yet its normal flight is slow and forceful.

  • Although little is known about their lifespan in the wild, we find Preponas to be one of the healthiest butterflies to keep in captivity. Preponas are unfussy, emerging without complication. Although displaying for visitors, they rarely land on people or fly around faces. Best of all, Preponas almost never try to hitchhike out on people.

  • Preponas have two colors of blue on its wings, one lighter powder blue and one almost cobalt - which is rare. On the underside the wings are camouflaged and sport false eyes. Can you think of other butterflies that have false eyes on the outer sides of their wings?

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